Oh goodness. Today is shaping up to be “Misbehaving Judges Day” here at Above the Law.
One judge, new to these pages, is accused of a serious crime: rape. And supposedly there’s a video of the alleged act.
Let’s look at the allegations against the two men….
Our first story comes to us from New Mexico. Thomson Reuters reports:
A New Mexico district judge who presided over criminal cases, including prostitution, is free on bond Wednesday after being charged with raping a prostitute, officials told Reuters.
Judge Albert “Pat” Murdoch was arrested Tuesday afternoon “for criminal penetration and one count of intimidation of a witness that resulted from an ongoing prostitution investigation,” Albuquerque Deputy Police Chief Paul Feist told reporters.
Being accused of having sex with a prostitute is bad; being accused of raping a prostitute is even worse.
According to the AP, there’s a video of the alleged rape. How did that come to pass?
The complaint against him says a detective first heard about the reported attack and the recording from an informant, who helped the investigator buy the video on DVD for $400.
Police then questioned the woman, who said Murdoch solicited her on a prostitution website.
The woman told police she met with the judge about eight times and he paid her about $200 each time. She said he forced himself on her during one visit, and she returned and secretly recorded a second forced encounter.
Two hundred dollars a pop seems reasonable enough. At least Judge Murdoch doesn’t stand accused of cheapness.
Described as a well-respected member of the judicial community, Murdoch has presided over numerous high-profile cases, including fraud allegations involving former Secretary of State Rebecca Vigil-Giron and three other defendants.
He also issued rulings in the case of John Hyde, an Albuquerque man accused of killing two police officers and three others during a single day in 2005, and he sentenced an Albuquerque man to 20 years in prison earlier this year for promoting prostitution, extortion and racketeering.
If the allegations are true, expect complaints of hypocrisy from defendants who were sentenced by Judge Murdoch. Cf. former judge Jack Camp (who would sometimes throw the book at drug defendants, despite engaging in drug use himself).
Bail totaling $76,500 was set for a former Creek County judge who was arrested early Tuesday on allegations including possession of a controlled dangerous substance.
Donald Thompson, 64, appeared later Tuesday before Special District Judge Richard Woolery, who set bail at $25,000 each on three felony counts: driving under the influence, possession of a controlled substance without a prescription after a former felony conviction and possession of a controlled dangerous substance after a former felony conviction.
Thompson also was charged with three misdemeanors: driving with an open container, having defective equipment on his vehicle and driving under suspension. Bail on the first two counts was set at $250 each. Bail on the third count was set at $1,000.
Wow — if these allegations are true, Judge Thompson sure was having a grand old time.
And this is not Thompson’s first brush with the law since leaving the bench a few years ago:
Thompson was convicted in Tulsa County in 2009 of actual physical control of a vehicle while under the influence. The charge had been amended from driving under the influence.
In June, he was charged with stalking a woman in Sapulpa. A court hearing on that charge, a misdemeanor, is scheduled for Aug. 9. Authorities said the victim in that case, Angela McClanahan-Fernandez, has been described as Thompson’s former girlfriend.
Sapulpa police arrested Thompson on March 3 after McClanahan-Fernandez claimed that he was peering at her through binoculars while she changed a flat tire on her car.
Officers who arrested Thompson reported that his trousers were “unzipped (and) gaping open.”
Personally I don’t find auto repair very erotic. But to each his own.
Judge not, lest ye be judged.
UPDATE (7/27/11): Judge Murdoch is going to resign from the bench and focus on his criminal defense. According to his attorneys, “police are investigating whether the woman may have tried to extort the judge with a video of a sexual encounter.”
New Mexico judge charged with raping prostitute [Thomson Reuters News & Insight]
Complaint: Alleged rape by NM judge was videotaped [Sacramento Bee]
NM judge busted on rape charges [Capitol Report – New Mexico]
Ex-judge who used penis pump during trials is arrested again [Tulsa World]